Huawei exec faces USA fraud charges linked to Iran, court hears

Huawei exec faces USA fraud charges linked to Iran, court hears

Chinese telecom giant Huawei's chief financial officer, arrested in Canada, faces USA fraud charges for allegedly lying to banks about the use of a covert subsidiary to sell to Iran in breach of sanctions, a court in the Canadian city of Vancouver has heard.

Prosecutor John Gibb-Carsley said Meng, who has vast financial resources as the daughter of Huawei's founder, has incentive to flee Canada because she faces fraud charges in the U.S. that could bring up to 30 years in prison.

Reports from Reuters have previously suggested that over the past decade, Huawei has struck deals to resell embargoed technologies, owned by USA companies including Hewlett-Packard, to sanctioned telecom operators in Iran.

Meng appeared in a Vancouver court on Friday for a bail hearing.

A lawyer representing Meng argued that she would not breach a court order and leave Canada because doing so would humiliate her father, Huawei and "China itself".

Far from being a separate company, SkyCom was used as a front for Huawei to do business with Iran, prosecutors alleged at a bail hearing for the accused executive.

Dressed in a dark green sweatshirt and sweatpants, she shook hands with her lawyer, David Martin, and smiled at him after she was led into B.C. Supreme Court by a sheriff.

Washington's charges against Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou are linked to a 2013 case, it's been revealed - raising the question whether her sudden arrest amid a truce in the US-China trade war is a thinly-veiled sneak attack.

In making their case for denying her bail, crown lawyers said Meng has no meaningful connections to Vancouver, and that her massive resources make the amount of her bail pledge irrelevant.

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McCallum was clear that Chinese consular officials will have access to Meng "just as we seek consular access for detained Canadians around the world, including in China".

"As the company's vice president and chief financial officer, Meng Wanzhou would have been the one who signed off on all documents", Ming said.

"In the negotiations, of course, they'll push that across the table and make it as embarrassing for the Canadians as possible", he said.

Earlier this week, Britain's BT Group announced that it was removing Huawei Technologies equipment from 3G and 4G networks as well as banning it from core parts of the coming 5G network.

Chinese state-run media said the arrest was part of U.S. efforts to curtail China´s tech industry.

A Huawei spokesman declined to comment on Thursday before Meng's court appearance and said that Wednesday's statement still stands. He said Meng would agree to wear an ankle monitor. This is also believed to have helped Huawei "circumvent U.S. sanctions by telling financial institutions that a Huawei subsidiary was a separate company". She's likely his heir apparent.

That doesn't mean that China is likely to forget about Meng Wanzhou's December 1 arrest when they next come face-to-face with Canadian officials, he added.

Huawei has been a subject of U.S. national security concerns for years and Meng's case echoes well beyond tariffs or market access.

"Yet Washington, in persuading and pressuring its allies to shun cooperation with Huawei, has helped erode that political trust", the English-language paper said.